Tomato Sauce

I have very typical kids in some ways. The oldest prefers to have pbj everyday and so we have a deal that he is allowed to have pbj every school day as long as he doesn’t complain on weekends and holidays as we prepare other things for the entire family. (We don’t do “Have it your way” in our house, generally.)  But one son and our daughter prefer to take more hearty meals to school that vary at least from week to week. So they like to select a dish and prepare it on Sunday for the week that they can serve as “leftovers” for their lunches (though we never had “firsts” from this dish, mind you!).

In one discussion this past year my son wanted to make pasta and tomato sauce for the week. As parents we took this opportunity to talk about the sugars and other preservatives in jar and canned “spaghetti sauce”. Though I almost NEVER use these jars in my cooking and only keep a jar for emergencies or to augment another dish, it was now prime time to prove to him that he could make a simple tomato sauce that tastes good and was worth the time. This recipe is borrowed from Food and Wine Magazine. They have all made this recipe several times since and it serves as a cornerstone for other dishes they make.

Makes three 1 cup servings


  • 1 small onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • In small bowl put together:
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter (measure and leave in refrigerator)


10 inch frying or sauce pan with sides

Large spoon


Knife and Cutting Board


  • Chop onion into small dice.
  • Peel and cut off ends of carrot; then shred carrot
  • Blend tomatoes in blender until smooth



  1. Heat pan over medium.
  2. Add oil to pan when hot
  3. Cook onions 3 minutes in pan.
  4. Add to pan
    • Carrots
    • Spice mixture
    • Tomatoes
  5. Stir.
  6. Once sauce has come to bubble, turn heat to low.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes. Stir once in a while.
  8. Turn off heat.
  9. Add butter. Stir to melt. Serve

Adapted from Food and Wine, March 2017

pdf version of recipe >> Tomato Sauce

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